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Small materials could lead to big things at Stanford's new Nano Center

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Today's Stanford Report takes a look at the campus' new Nano Center, which has upgraded Stanford's nanotechnology facilities to rank among the best in the world. Writer Sandeep Ravindran describes the sophisticated tools and instruments in the facility, which will be used by researchers across the university - including those in the medical school - and explains the importance of the field:

A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, about the size of a few atoms. "It's a very exciting length," said Kathryn Moler, associate professor of physics and applied physics who has been coordinating the development of the new center since 2007. At those scales, "physics, biology and chemistry all intersect," she said.

"Nanoscale research has the potential to advance every field of technology," Moler said. In energy research, nanotechnology could help scientists design more efficient platinum catalysts for fuel cells. In medicine, nanoparticles can be used for targeted drug delivery and for enhanced medical imaging. And nanotechnology is expected to advance the state of electronics.

Photo by L.A. Cicero

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